Smoke Alarm Installation & Testing

Protect your home with interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms

One of the most important ways to protect your family is with the latest smoke alarms. The Queensland government has recognized this and introduced new smoke alarm laws that have been phasing in since Jan ’17.  These laws require installation of interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms.

Smoke Alarm Installation

South East Electrical use the best smoke detector systems available.  Below are our three main solutions for interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms. These solutions provide cost-effective ways for you to become fully compliant and keep your home safe. All our smoke alarm installations are done to ensure compliance with the new and incoming Queensland laws. (For more information, read about the Queensland Smoke Alarm Legislation.) You can reply on South East Queensland to make your home safe and compliant with current and incoming laws.

Red Smoke Alarms

This 100% Australian owned company manufactures and sells smoke alarms with a 10 year warranty. Given that you’re required to replace your smoke alarm after 10 years, that means you never own a smoke detector that isn’t under warranty.

They’re functionally great also. With a central controller that connects to each alarm, you can test, locate and silence any alarm from a central location. If you’re a landlord, allowing your occupant to silence false alarms at the push of a button reduces call outs. If you’re the occupant, then silencing an alarm without poking at a screaming alarm with a broom is a game-changer.

They also have a hush button. So if you know you’re about to burn the toast, hush the smoke alarm at the push of a button before the smoke rises.

Our four pack of detectors with a central controller will fit many homes. Priced at a level that many can’t believe (eg, you’d get two Google Nest for this price) the Red Smoke Alarm system is a great way to make your home safe and compliant.

Voltex Smoke Alarms

The Voltex smoke alarms are a great alternative where there is no ceiling for us to install cables in. With their 10 year lithium batteries and wireless interconnect system, these smoke alarms can satisfy Queensland laws without being connected via cables.

They come with a 7 year warranty, meaning most of the alarm’s functional lifespan will be covered by warranty.

Clipsal Smoke Alarms

Clipsal are one of the most recognizable names in electrical and smoke detector equipment. This highly respected brand supplies reliable and effective smoke alarms.

We use Clipsal smoke alarms when adding to an existing installation. This allows us to provide a cost-effective solution that provides safety and compliance for the household.

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We are South East Queensland electricians for smoke alarm testing and installation.

Experts in interconnected photoelectric smoke detectors, fully versed in the compliance requirements for Queensland legislation.

Smoke Alarm Testing

Our Smoke Alarm Testing Services

South East Electrical provides comprehensive smoke detector testing for agents, landlords, and tenants.

The test will include the following:

Perfect for rental properties

Being a landlord, you need to ensure you're compliant with Queensland laws. With recent changes, this means that you should have interconnected photoelectric smoke detectors. If you're unsure of your properties compliance, book our smoke alarm testing service today.

Book Your Smoke Alarm Test

Keep your property safe and keep it compliant with our smoke alarm testing. 

Smoke Alarm Legislation

What You Need To Know About Smoke Alarms In Queensland

New smoke alarm legislation will make Queensland households the safest in Australia in relation to fire safety.

The new legislation specifies that all Queensland dwellings will be required to have interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms in all bedrooms, in hallways that connect bedrooms with the rest of the dwelling and on every level.

About three quarters of Queensland deaths in home fires are in homes without smoke alarms.

It's a simple fact that smoke detectors save lives. As a home owner you have a responsibility to make sure your smoke detectors are operating correctly. The new interconnected photoelectric smoke detectors increase safety over older smoke alarms.

With the introduction of new smoke alarm legislation in Queensland your obligations as a home owner or landlord have changed. 

To comply with legislation, interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms are required:

  • From 1 January 2017: in all new dwellings and substantially renovated dwellings (this applies to building applications submitted from 1 January 2017).
  • From 1 January 2022: in all domestic dwellings leased and sold.
  • From 1 January 2027: in all other domestic dwellings.

Current Smoke Alarm Laws

  • Existing smoke alarms manufactured more than 10 years ago must be replaced with photoelectric smoke alarms which comply with Australian Standards (AS) 3786-2014. (Note: the date should be stamped on the back)
  • Smoke alarms that do not operate when tested must be replaced immediately.
  • Existing hardwired smoke alarms that need replacement, must be replaced with a hardwired photoelectric smoke alarm.
Standards smoke alarm sticker

Looks For This Sticker On Your Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms must comply with the Standard AS 3786-2014.

Incoming Smoke Alarm Laws

The following will come into effect by 2027.

  • All private homes, townhouses and units will require hardwired photoelectric, interconnected smoke alarms. If a hardwired smoke alarm cannot be installed, non-removable 10-year battery smoke alarms can be installed in place.
  • Detectors must be placed in accordance with the following diagram:
smoke detector placement
Image from Qld Govt smoke alarm website

Smoke Alarm FAQ

The short answer is, photoelectric alarms are better at sensing smoke than ionization alarms. Research has shown that the majority of home fires start as smouldering fires, where there is more smoke but less flame. Ionization alarms are good at detecting fires but not as good when their is smoke. Smoke can be lethal on its own so it’s important for fire alarms or react to smoke.

Ionization alarms have a small amount of radioactive material in them, held between two electronically charged plates. Ions flow between the plates (because of the radioactive material) and is measured.  When smoke passes between the plates it disrupts this flow of ions. This is when the alarm is triggered. 

Photoelectric alarms are light sensing alarms. They have a light that is angled away from away from the sensor. When smoke entered the chamber, it difuses and refracts that light, causing some to hit the sensor.  This is when the alarm is triggered.


Research has shown that every second is prescious when it comes to surviving a fire. Interconnected smoke alarms can comminicate with each other. It’s also shown that having a distant fire alarm sounding will not alert (particularly when you’re sleeping) as quickly as a nearby smoke alarm.Interconnect smoke alarms communicate with each other, so that when when alarm detects smoke, they all sound their alarm. This can save your life when a fire starts in a distint area of your home while you are sleeping. You’ll react much faster the the alarm next to you then you will the distant alarm. And you’ll gain precious seconds in which you and your family can escape.

Yes, you can. 

There are several things for you to consider. The first is your compliance requirements. This is especially pertinent of you’re a landlord. You need to make sure you’re fully compliant with the current and future legislation.

Next you should consider that the alarms, if not hard wired, should have a 10 year battery in them. These are available on the market so make sure you get 10 year battery smoke larms only.

Lastly, make sure they’re interconnected. You can, for instance, get Google Nest smoke alarms, which will interconnect via an app. They’re currently $189* each though, so oftentimes they’re more expensive than having us do the job for you, for any decent sized home.

*JB Hi Fi at time of writing, Oct 2021.

Regardless of which make or model of alarm you have, you must replace it every ten years. 

That applies for both hard wired and battery operated alarms. During their lifespan, they can accummulate dust and debris that will cause them to be ineffective. Ten years is a long time for them to operate flawlessly. It is therefore a legal requirement to change the alarms after ten years.

The most basic test of a smoke alarm is to press and hold the test/hush button for 3 seconds. It should sound a test alarm for you.

Make sure that all (interconnected) alarms sound when you press the button. 

You should do this every month.

A more advanced test is to use a smoke alarm tester to test how well it detects smoke. 

Do not ignite combustible materials to test your smoke alarm. This can cause accidents. 

The quick answer is, you have a flat battery. 

This is a common problem for older smoke alarms. Their 9V battery should be replaced every year.

What is happening is, your alarm can no longer maintain the voltage it needs to properly monitor your home. If sends out a warning chirp to let you know.

Replace the battery immediately.  (You should also consider upgrading your alarms at this point, if you don’t already have interconnected photoelectric alarms.)



Ionisation smoke alarms have a small piece of radioctive material in them. The decay of that radioactive material allows a current to pass between to contact points. (That’s what ionisation is.) When smoke interupts the ionisation, the detector knows it should down and alarm.

Ionisation alarms looks like this:

ionisation smoke alarms infographic

Photoelectric smoke alarms shine a beam of light. When that beam is refracted by smoke, it hits a sensor and the alarm is sounded. Like this:

photelectric smoke alarm infographic

Photoelectric smoke alarms have been shown to be more effective at detecting smouldering fire. These are the types of fires most commonly experienced in the home. They can, therefore, give you earlier warning of fires in your home.

If you have any burning questions about smoke alarms, don't hesitate to contact us.


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